MOSCOW | Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out on Monday against any nuclear conflict, at a time when the Kremlin's military offensive in Ukraine has revived fears of an atomic drift.
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"We assume that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be started," Putin said in a message to attendees of a conference of 191 signatory countries. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
In this message published on the Kremlin website, he assured that Russia continued to follow “the letter and the spirit” of this treaty.
Russia had announced that it had placed its nuclear forces on alert shortly after its offensive in Ukraine on February 24. Mr Putin, meanwhile, spoke of “lightning-fast” retaliation should the West intervene directly in the conflict.
In the same vein, Russian state media and politicians have multiplied references and threats, in a thinly veiled way, about the use of nuclear weapons in the conflict.
On Monday, the United States, United Kingdom and France thus called on Moscow “to cease its nuclear rhetoric and its irresponsible and dangerous attitude” since its large-scale assault on Ukraine.